(To Separate words use + sign)
January 24, 2021 (N. Delhi)
A post-draft consultation process that saw the participation of some of the top experts and thought leaders from a range of disciplines brought in enriching ideas to strengthen the draft of the 5th National Science Technology and Innovation Policy.
"There has been a digital revolution with immense changes in technology in last few years. While accounting for this change, we need to have rootedness in the culture. One step in that direction is strengthening of language labs. Besides, practical implementation is important for STI for large scale learning. This policy document aims at taking everything into consideration to shape the future of the country," said Professor K VijayRaghavan, Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government of India, at the consultation organized through webinar on January 23, 2021. He stressed the need to incorporate the Policy Process Framework Document and the implementation strategy in the final document.
Secretary, DST Prof Ashutosh Sharma, said "To be ready for the future, states need to connect with the centre and use science, technology, and innovation to solve their problems. At the same time, international connect, and science diplomacy needs equal attention". He added that in India, "we focus on generated knowledge, but we need to consume them properly to bring innovation- connecting innovation to knowledge"
"There have been 300 rounds of consultations. For the first time, we have consulted States, line ministries, and Indian diaspora. These kinds of consultations would make the document more inclusive," said Dr. Akhilesh Gupta, Advisor, DST, and Head STIP Secretariat.
Former Member of National Disaster Management Authority, Secretary of Department of Ocean Development and world’s renowned seismologist Dr. Harsh Gupta stressed on the need for a roadmap and implementation mechanism coupled with timeline for manpower and financial plan for increasing investment in science and technology.
Prof Sheila Jasanoff, Science and Technology Studies expert at Harvard Kennedy School in USA, said that the role of social sciences, humanities as well as ethics is equally important in any country, and the policy should reflect it.
Former Secretary General of Rajya Sabha and Chief Secretary of UP, Shri Yogendra Narain, highlighted the need for training of supervisors who would supervise research and also about the necessity of strengthening of institutional collaboration.
Honorary Professor at the Indian Institute of Science Professor Ajay Sood emphasized the necessity to consider the role of academies in the country and the academies, especially in science diplomacy, involving them in more engaging ways so that they become active and contribute in more meaningfully.
Former Professor of Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad and world’s renowned expert in grassroot innovations, Professor Anil Gupta underlined the importance of bringing art closer to science and emphasized the role of culture in institutions. He also stressed on acknowledging every knowledge provider and on reaching out to the masses through existing networks like Krishi Vigyan Kendras, Indian Railways and post offices on a daily basis.
Noted environmentalist and Director General of Centre for Science and Environment Dr. Sunita Narain underscored the need to move to societal science and said that science needs to be more engaging. "Engagement of Indian science with people need to increase like it has happened in case of flood forecasting and cyclone forecasting," she added.
Makarand R Paranjape, Director, Indian Institute of Advanced Studies, spoke about including the integration of disciplines in the policy and the need for fostering a culture of excellence throughout the country."
Shobita Parthasarathy, Professor of Public Policy, Director, Science, Technology, and Public Policy program; at the University of Michigan, advocated for balance between society, environment, and economy. "Grassroots innovation and traditional knowledge is the strength of India and often offer solutions to problems. Women play key role in majority of grassroot innovations, and their role should be acknowledged," she pointed out.
Dr. Anil Prakash Joshi, founder of Himalayan Environmental Studies and Conservation Organization (HESCO), said that in a country like India, where the larger population lives in rural areas, and a policy must reflect their needs and aspirations. "There is a need for scientific validity of traditional knowledge," he added.
Dr. Rajeshwari Rajagopalan, Distinguished Fellow and Head of the Nuclear and Space Policy Initiative at the Observer Research Foundation (ORF), pointed out that there should be provision for periodic audit of investment and benefits, and the policy should focus on reversal of brain drain and how to retain best brains and bring back the best minds to the country.
The draft STIP was put together by STIP Secretariat led by Dr. Akhilesh Gupta with guidance from the Office of Principal Scientific Adviser (PSA) to the Government of India (GoI) and the Department of Science & Technology (DST), GoI. The draft STIP was released for public consultation on 31st December 2020. Since then, a number of post-draft consultations have already been initiated to invite suggestions and recommendations. A series of consultations have been planned during next 2 weeks. The last date for receiving the comments has been extended to 31st January,2021.
January 22, 2021 (N. Delhi)
India's excellence in science has now been combined with the recognition of its brilliance as an innovative economy.
While the country has already attained the third position in terms of publications, it now features among the top 50 innovative economies globally as per the Global Innovation Index (GII), placing it ahead of many developed and developing countries.
The combination of scientific excellence and innovation has been possible through encouraging investments in scientific activities, infrastructure as well as manpower development along with boosting of the entire innovation chain in an environment charged with the start-up India movement.
"Our efforts for connecting the invention ecosystem that excels in creating knowledge and the innovation ecosystem facilitating knowledge consumption have helped bring about this transformation, and the 5th National Science Technology and Innovation Policy will help us take this forward more effectively," said Professor Ashutosh Sharma, Secretary, Department of Science and Technology (DST) while talking about this achievement.
India's national investment in R&D has increased from Rs. 1,13,825.03 crore in 2017-18 to Rs. 1,23,847.71 crore in 2018-19. At the same time, initiatives of DST like NIDHI have played a crucial role to reach this position. The implementation of NIDHI has nurtured 3681 startups under incubation through the network of around 150 Incubators created by DST, generated 1992 intellectual property. Further, in the last five years, jobs generated in the form of direct employment were 65,864 and Rs 27,262 crores of economic wealth.
The movement to convert ideas to usable technologies and then to scale them up has now spread through the country. Among the 13,045 patents sealed in the year 2017-18, 1,937 patents were by Indians. However, some states held the lion's share of patents filed. Out of 15,550 patents filed by Indians at Indian Patent Office during 2017-18, 65% were filed from the States of Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, and Delhi. At the same time, the start-up India mission has given a boost to convert these patentable innovative ideas into start-ups levitating India into the country among those with the highest number of start-ups.
While the startup India movement and push for patenting has brought a paradigm shift in science and technology, the country has maintained its growth in publications?the traditional indicator of scientific excellence.
The number of publications has increased exponentially over the last 10 years. According to data from the US agency, the National Science Foundation (NSF), India is currently in third place, only behind China and the United States, with 135,788 scientific articles in the year 2018. The NSF database shows that India's growth rate of scientific publication was 12.9 percent, as against the world average of 4.9 percent. India recorded the fastest average annual growth rate of publications between 2008 and 2018 with 10.73 percent. In comparison, the average annual growth rate of China and the United States are respectively 7.81 and 0.71 percent.
This was a result of the government's encouragement to researchers in the form of increasing investment on R&D activities, R&D infrastructure as well as manpower development. The country's per capita R&D expenditure increased to PPP $ 47.2 in 2017-18 from PPP $ 29.2 in 2007-08, as has the R&D manpower to 3.42 lakh in 2018 from 2.83 lakh in 2015. The country now has a stronger manpower base, with India's researchers per million population increased to 255 in 2017 from 218 in 2015.
The breeding ground of this escalating scientific research lay in the country's 993 Universities/Deemed Universities, 127 institutes of national importance, and 39,931 colleges across the length and breadth of the country, which nurtures human resources that will take forward the scientific and technological legacy of the nation. It is here that India's future hopes in science and technology lie, and the country is now among the top in nurturing the talents in them. It has attained 3rd rank in terms of the number of PhDs produced as also in the size of the Higher Education System, creating a massive strength of human resource that will take the nation forward in S&T.
January 20, 2021 (N. Delhi)
Scientists are exploring an alternative anti-cancer therapy that involves targeting tumor generated the formation of new blood vessels which allow the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to the body's tissues, technically called angiogenesis.
Angiogenesis is critical in the growth of cancer because tumors need blood supply to grow. Tumors trigger the growth of blood cells by giving off chemical signals that stimulate angiogenesis. Deregulation of angiogenesis is the main reason for tumor growth and progression.
Inhibition of tumor angiogenesis has become a popular anti-cancer strategy after chemotherapy. However, the clinically approved anti-angiogenic drugs are ineffective due to parallel activation of various compensatory mechanisms involving a cascade of molecules, which aids tumor angiogenesis and investigation of these mechanisms are essential for developing anti-angiogenic therapies.
Dr. Vimalraj Selvaraj from Centre for Biotechnology, Anna University, Chennai, a recipient of the INSPIRE Faculty Fellowship instituted by the Department of Science & Technology, Government of India, is exploring the role of compensatory angiogenesis signaling cues as key targets for cancer therapy.
He has already found that nitric oxide (NO) plays a key role in switching off angiogenesis under tumor microenvironment and that the melatonin hormone suppresses tumor angiogenesis. The research published in the journals Microvascular Research, Life Sciences and Nitric Oxide, has shown that compensatory mechanisms could be a potential therapeutic target for developing effective anti-cancer treatment regimes.
Using the INSPIRE Faculty program Dr. Vimalraj and his research team is further working to develop transgenic zebrafish (which have exogenous genes added to their genome) model by use of the CRISPR/Cas9 gene-editing tool to further study the compensatory angiogenesis mechanism in tumor microenvironment. Differential expression of biomolecules between two types of angiogenesis (sprouting angiogenesis and intussusceptive angiogenesis ) and their molecular mechanism will be analysed using transgenic zebrafish models in tumor microenvironment.
The transgenic or CRISPR/Cas9 edited Zebrafish platform (TZP) can be used for studying the efficacy of a drug as anti or pro-angiogenesis in the next phase of the project.
The transgenic zebrafish model has been selected for the intussusceptive angiogenesis study because of its rapid development, optically transparent, high yield in offspring, and easy techniques for forward and reverse gene manipulation. The CRISPR/Cas9 edited zebrafish platform will also be used for studying the efficacy of a drug as anti or pro-angiogenesis in the next phase of the project.
January 14, 2021 (N. Delhi)
The Union Minister for Science & Technology, Earth Sciences, Health & Family Welfare Dr. Harsh Vardhan dedicated an Innovation Portal, developed by National Innovation Foundation (NIF) - India, an autonomous body of the Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India, to the nation, in New Delhi today.
The National Innovation Portal(NIP) is currently home to about 1.15 lakh innovations scouted from common people of the country, covering Engineering, Agriculture, Veterinary and Human Health. In terms of domain areas, presently the innovations cover Energy, mechanical, automobile, electrical, electronics, household, chemical, civil, textiles, Farm / cultivation practice, storage practice, plant variety, plant protection, poultry, livestock management, nutraceuticals etc.
Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Harsh Vardhan said that credit goes to the Prime Minister for igniting the Innovation Movement and creating an Innovation Eco-system in the country during the last 6 years.He congratulated the Atmanirbhar citizens who defeated the problems and challenges through their creative potential and deployment of their innovative Science and Technology based solutions. The Minister emphasized on the growing importance of outstanding Traditional Knowledge, particularly herbal practices which stem from tribal areas, and is one of the key highlights of the Innovation Portal. He said that this Innovation Portal will help institutionalise new ideas by common people towards finding solutions to local problems.
The Minister highlighted "Best Economy is the Idea Economy and Innovative co-efficient is the most important for the progress of the country", and added that in future it will be the idea that will drive the progress of the nation. He emphasized that the Innovation Portal will create an eco-system where the Institutions will stand behind all those who can convert their ideas and innovations into entrepreneurship. He urged for a Stand-up Start-up system in the country where anyone who has the desire to innovate,should be encouraged to develop his or her ideas, irrespective of their background whether rural, tribal or anyone with formal science background.He further observed that the year 2020 was a year of turbulence like never before, and digital infrastructure of our nation has immensely grown and helped all of us. The Innovation Portal in coming days could be one of the significant contributions amongst all of our digital progress so far and would act as a bridge between people who are looking for Innovative solutions and those who had been at the helm of their evolution.He urged students, entrepreneurs, MSME's and common people engaged in a variety of occupations to take advantage of the Innovations portal and explore innovations of interest.
Dr Harsh Vardhan expressed his confidence in extraordinary commitment from common people toward innovations which would drive country's Technology Leadership and have it touch great heights in years to come. He lauded the efforts of NIF and DST in arriving at 1.15 Lakh Innovations as a starting point of this Innovations portal, which by itself is a great beginning.
Speaking on the occasion, Prof Ashutosh Sharma, Secretary, DST mentioned that this innovation portal is being on-boarded at a very appropriate time within the innovation eco-system of our nation, by way of coinciding with evolution of 5th National STI Policy of India. He said the future contributors to the innovation portal will stem from the focus areas of the policy, and hence it is important that eco-system of R&D and innovation be created in rural and remote areas, particularly in the North East, Islands and Tribal areas. Prof Ashutosh explained the NIF is not only engaged in scouting for ideas but also taking them forward. The Innovation Portal will help create local entrepreneurs out of grassroots ideas and will help bring ideas to the market, he said.
Dr PS Goel, Chairperson, NIFobserved that innovation portal is a saga of determination of every Indian who believed in evolving his or her own solutions to fit the needs. He urged the industry to visit the portal with an eye to develop them into products for commercialisation.
Dr Vipin Kumar, Director, NIF proposed a vote of thanks on the occasion of the launch of innovations portal.
Innovation Portal is a step towards Atmanirbhar Bharat and an excellent resource for students, entrepreneurs, MSME's, Technology Business Incubators (TBI's) and common people engaged in a variety of occupations.
January 14, 2021 (N. Delhi)
The Union Minister of Science & Technology, Earth Sciences and Health & family Welfare, Dr Harsh Vardhan addressed a webinar on the theme of AtmaNirbhar Bharat organized by a media organization Swarajya in collaboration with Vedanta. Addressing the webinar, Dr Harsh Vardhan said, "AtmaNirbhar Bharat has become one of the focal areas of our government, around which all economic policies are being drawn up. Our government is focused on bridging the gap between the rich and the poor, the haves and the have-nots and on providing equal opportunity to all Bhartiya citizens which is the real meaning of Antyodaya".
The Minister further elaborated, "AtmaNirbhar Bharat is a plan to free India from the clutches of poverty, to ensure that all Indians have equal access to not just kapda, roti aurmakaan .. but to make a qualitative change in their living by giving them access to bank accounts, 24 by 7 power, potable drinking water, housing, social security and most of all ..employment and good food leading to good and healthy living".
The Minister outlined, "As a step in the direction of Atma Nirbhar Bharat, we launched the Make in India initiative to drive India as a hub for manufacturing, cutting edge research and innovation. We fully understand that with industry will come greater employment for our youth, which will ignite prosperity in their lives".
Dr. Harsh Vardhan Pointed out, "We have eased norms for doing business; we are working to make our tax structures competitive, simplifying procedures and removing unnecessary regulations and placing enormous focus on technology as well". He expressed his confidence, " these efforts will directly benefit the poor of India and provide them the windows of opportunity they deserve".
Recounting the challenging circumstances of Covid pandemic, the Minister said "The Department of Biotechnology did extraordinary work in supporting the advancement of vaccine candidates and related technologies. Under "Mission COVID Suraksha - The Indian COVID-19 Vaccine Development Mission'', we focused on accelerated vaccine development through end-to-end solutions from pre-clinical development, clinical trials, manufacturing and regulatory facilitation for deployment".
"A National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration for COVID19, NEGVAC was constituted under the guidance of Hon'ble Prime Minister to monitor and decide on prioritization of population groups for vaccination, the delivery mechanism of the vaccine including tracking of the vaccination process and selection of delivery platforms. An indigenously developed Co-WIN: Digital Platform for COVID 19 vaccination delivery has also been developed", he added.
The Minister highlighted, "COVID-19 vaccination drive is also driven by 'Make in India' and both the vaccines that have received emergency authorization in India have been manufactured indigenously. We have also carried out Cold Chain Storage Assessment across the country and Cold Chain Equipment is being supplied continuously to augment the capacity at the last mile cold chain points".
Dr. Harsh Vardhan said, "I am sure that our efforts aimed at mitigation of the pandemic have parallelly strengthened our health systems upto the last mile and the same will act as a foundation for further strengthening the same to provide affordable, equitable and quality healthcare to all".
Stating that the COVID Pandemic has been an unfortunate event that has affected our lives and economies in an unprecedented manner, Dr Harsh Vardhan said, "However, we have utilized this adversity as an opportunity to strengthen our health care delivery system across the country".
"The COVID-19 pandemic also provided a compelling opportunity for R&D institutions, academia and industry to work in unison for sharing of purpose, synergy, collaboration and cooperation", he said.
The Department of Science & Technology and its various Autonomous Institutions made significant efforts to address R&D and innovation related challenges arising out of the pandemic. "Among other measures has been the formation of a National Task Force with over 20 leading scientists for formulating a National Super Model for predicting the spread of any pandemic in the future", Dr. Harsh Vardhan emphasized.
Giving further details , he said "DBT and BIRAC have been working relentlessly over the past ten months to develop effective interventions for combating the pandemic by supporting nearly 120 projects in the thematic areas of vaccines, diagnostics and therapeutics".
"More than 200 Indian Manufacturers have registered under National Biomedical Resource Indigenization Consortium, N-BRIC, a Make in India initiative, for facilitating indigenous manufacturing of 15 major molecular biology components and reagents", the Minister disclosed.
"Also, DBT is supporting development of nearly 15 vaccine candidates. Of these 3 vaccine candidates are in clinical trial stage and about 2 candidates are in advanced pre-clinical developmental stage", he explained.
Outlining all above efforts, Dr. Harsh Vardhan said, "Amongst many other achievements, the immunoassay laboratory of Translational Health Science and Technology Institute,THSTI has been recognized by the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, CEPI as one of the seven laboratories globally, for centralized assessment of COVID- 19 Vaccines".
"Five COVID-19 Biorepositories have been set up and have archived more than 40,000 samples, which are available for biomedical researchers", he said.
"On the Genomics and Therapeutics front ...PAN-India, 1000 SARS-CoV-2 genome sequencing was successfully completed and data is being analyzed to understand the virus", the Minister said that the Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomic Consortium INSACOG has been launched, to ascertain the status of new variants of SARS-CoV-2 in the country.
He pointed out, "CSIR has galvanized its considerable strength and expertise and has been contributing to the fight against COVID-19 by developing new and improved diagnostics, drugs & vaccines and devices including ventilators", the Minister said, "CSIR has also made strides in understanding the molecular epidemiology and tracing of the viral strains in the country. It recognized early on the challenges of the disruption in the supply chain and has taken steps to circumvent the hurdles".
"We have developed FELUDA, the novel paper-based diagnostic kit for COVID-19 detection. Tata Sons, who took transfer of this unique technology, may soon start exporting these" he highlighted."The quick and easy to use RT-LAMP diagnostic kit developed in partnership with Reliance Industries, is being reviewed by ICMR". "CSIR labs have contributed significantly in understanding the prevalent viral strains, their mutational spectrum, spread and distribution across India by sequencing and analyzing about 2000 SARS-CoV-2 viral genomes".
He praised, "CSIR has also prioritized development of repurposed drugs for treatment of COVID-19 given the lack of specific drugs. CSIR developed the process technology for repurposed drugs such as Remdesivir and Favipiravir and transferred the technology to industries. Based on the licensed technology of CSIR, Cipla launched the affordable Favipiravir, which... all of you will recollect... drove market competition leading to affordable pricing". "There is no end to what all has been done in just the last ten months', the Minister said. He recounted many other achievement by CSIR and other S & T labs in fighting COVID.
The Union Minister placed it before all audience "During the pandemic, with modesty, I can claim that the world has applauded India for the manner in which we held fort and kept mortality rates at the lowest... even today we are at a mortality rate of 1.44 per cent".
He concluded by saying, "There is an immense need to further educate the public to become self-reliant. Once they know that they have got to stand on their own legs, it will electrify the atmosphere. This webinar series is a step in the right direction".
January 3, 2021 (N. Delhi)
The Nation's first indigenously developed DNA vaccine candidate against COVID-19, ZyCoV-D, by M/s Zydus Cadila has been approved by Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI), for conduct of the Phase III clinical trials. The candidate has been supported by the National Biopharma Mission (NBM) under the aegis of BIRAC and the Department of Biotechnology, Government of India.
Zydus Cadila completed Phase-I/II clinical trials of this DNA Vaccine candidate, in India, in more than 1,000 participants and interim data indicated that the vaccine is safe and immunogenic when three doses were administered intradermally. Based on the recommendations of the Subject Expert Committee, which reviewed the interim data, the DCGI has accorded permission for conducting Phase-III clinical trial in 26,000 Indian participants.
Dr. Renu Swarup, Secretary, DBT and Chairperson, BIRAC expressed happiness and hoped that the candidate vaccine continues to show positive outcomes. Speaking on the occasion, she said, "The Department of Biotechnology, Government of India has partnered with Zydus Cadila, to address the need for accelerated development of an indigenous vaccine for COVID-19. The partnership exemplifies that such research endeavours demonstrate the Government's focus on creating an ecosystem that nurtures and encourages new product innovation with societal relevance". She also mentioned , "The establishment of the Nation's first DNA vaccine platform is an important milestone for Atma Nirbhar Bharat and a big leap forward for Indian scientific research."
January 1, 2021 (N. Delhi)
The draft of the 5th National Science Technology and Innovation Policy has been finalized and is now available for public consultation. The policy drafted through a4 track process of consultations during last 6 monthsaims to bring about profound changes through short, medium and long-term mission mode projects by building a nurtured ecosystem that promotes research and innovation on the part of both individuals and organizations.
It aims to foster, develop, and nurture a robust system for evidence and stakeholder-driven STI planning, information, evaluation, and policy research in India. The objective of the policy is to identify and address strengths and weaknesses of the Indian STI ecosystem to catalyse socio-economic development of the country and also make the Indian STI ecosystem globally competitive.
As India and the world reorient in the present context of the COVID-19 crisis, a new Science, Technology, and Innovation Policy (STIP) was initiated at this crucial juncture during mid-2020. For India to march ahead on a sustainable development pathway to include economic development, social inclusion and environmental sustainability for achieving an "Atmanirbhar Bharat", a greater emphasis may be needed on promoting traditional knowledge systems, developing indigenous technologies and encouraging grassroots innovations. The emergence of disruptive and impactful technologies poses new challenges and simultaneously greater opportunities. The COVID-19 pandemic provided a compelling opportunity for R&D institutions, academia and industry to work in unison for sharing of purpose, synergy, collaboration and cooperation.
The STIP will be guided by its broad vision of achieving technological self-reliance and position India among the top three scientific superpowers in the decade to come, to attract, nurture, strengthen and retain critical human capital through a 'people centric' science, technology and innovation (STI) ecosystem, to double the number of Full-Time Equivalent (FTE) researchers, Gross Domestic Expenditure on R&D (GERD) and private sector contribution to the GERD every 5 years and to build individual and institutional excellence in STI with the aspiration to achieve the highest level of global recognitions and awards in the coming decade.
The new policy, STIP, revolves around the core principles of being decentralized, evidence-informed, bottom-up, experts-driven, and inclusive. Also, it aims to bring in the concept of 'dynamic policy' with a robust policy governance mechanism incorporating features such as implementation strategy, periodic review, policy evaluation, feedback, and adaptation, and most importantly, a timely exit strategy for various policy instruments.
The process so far involved nearly 300 rounds of consultations with more than 40,000 stakeholders well distributed in terms of region, age, gender, education, economic status, etc. The STIP Secretariat was coordinated, supported, and guided by the Office of PSA, NITI Aayog, and DST. The formulation process, by design, envisioned as a very inclusive and participative model with intense interconnectedness among different tracks of activities.
The draft is placed for public consultation on DST's website.
Suggestions, comments and inputs on the draft Policy may be shared by Monday the 25th January,2021 on email: email@example.com. The policy draft is available on https://dst.gov.in/draft-5th-national-science-technology-and-innovation-policy-public-consultation
October 9, 2020
Existing opportunities for meritorious girls to nurture their interest in Science Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) will be expanded and a learning platform scaled to make learning relevant and foster scientific spirit among the country's youth in partnership with IBM.
The Department of Science & Technology (DST) and IBM India announced collaborations to scale up two DST initiatives--Vigyan Jyoti and Engage with Science (Vigyan Prasar), on October 8, 2020.
Vigyan Jyoti is a programme to promote STEM learning among girl students and to inspire them towards STEM careers by creating a level-playing field for meritorious girls from grades 9 to 12 to pursue STEM in their higher education, especially from the top colleges in the areas where girls are hugely underrepresented.
Engage with Science of Vigyan Prasar is another initiative to build interest and create a community of practice with students, teachers, and scientists connecting the high school students to the higher education institutions.
Announcing the collaborations Professor Ashutosh Sharma, Secretary DST, said, "The partnership with IBM will make these programs of DST and Vigyan Prasar reach the students and teachers in interactive ways on a large scale. Scaling up of the interactive learning platform 'Engage with Science' will make learning relevant and foster scientific spirit among the country's youth, it would address the school students directly who need more knowledge outside the classroom and provide insights into an interactive way of learning, thus helping sift the useful from the useless."
"The engage with Science platform will make students interact, participate and get involved with the sampling and active consumption of S&T content, including Cloud, Big Data, etc. through the usage of digital tools," he added.
"Vigyan Jyoti initiative by DST focuses on solving the multidimensional problems associated with meager representation of women in Engineering and Technology streams in higher education by building confidence and excitement towards these streams. In 5 years from now, we want to see the proportion of girl students enrolled in engineering and technology streams increasing to one-third of the total," Professor Ashutosh Sharma pointed out.
The Vigyan Jyoti programme was launched by DST in 2019 to inspire girl students to pursue higher education and career in STEM fields. The program provides a scholarship, visit to nearby scientific institutions, science camps, lecturers from eminent women scientists, and career counseling. The program is currently implemented by Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya (JNV) in 58 districts, with the participation of about 2900 students. The partnership with IBM India will strengthen the current activities and expanded to include more schools in the future. Women tech experts working at IBM India will interact inspire girl students to plan for a career in STEM under the program. This will strengthen the DST?s initiative to increase the number of women in technology fields.
"It is the need of the hour to promote gender diversity in STEM education and to create new avenues for cultivating diverse talent. The collaboration with DST will expand our STEM program to girl students pursuing 10+2 courses," said Mr. Sandip Patel, MD, IBM I/SA.
DST and IBM India aim to create a robust STEM ecosystem that nurtures critical thinkers, problem-solvers, and next-generation innovators through Inspire Awards-MANAK (Million Minds Augmenting National Aspirations and Knowledge)?a program targeting to build one million ideas rooted in science from school students. DST and IBM India will work together to further integrate and develop Science & Technology in the education ecosystem with short term courses, workshops, mentoring, and online science content communication for teachers and students in India.
In the other collaboration launched alongside, IBM will work with Vigyan Prasar?an autonomous body under the DST to help India's science popularization agenda through several strategic initiatives, including 'Engage With Science'. This is an interactive platform that will be built on top of the India Science Over-The-Top (OTT) platform to encourage and inspire high school students to pursue Science & Technology (S&T) for a career. As part of the collaboration, IBM will run the day-to-day activities of the program, including student workshops, seminars, and leverage its expertise to mentor the students. The platform will make students interact, participate and get involved with the sampling and active consumption of S&T content, including Cloud, Big Data, etc. through the usage of gamification tools and AI/ML components.
'Engage With Science' will actively engage with schools, shoot interactive programmes in the school premises, provide windows of recognition, and glorification to select teachers of S&T subjects. The programmes, when aired on India Science channel, shall, in turn, create a fan following and community creation around teachers and schools.
October 9, 2020
NEED OF THE TECHNOLOGY:
The contamination of fluoride and iron in drinking water is increasing day by day. Iron is the most abundant trace element in human body, responsible for accomplishment of vital biological functions such as gastrointestinal processes and the regulation of body temperature. But when iron level in water is beyond 0.3 ppm (as per WHO guideline), it shows several adverse effects including liver disease, irregular heart rhythm and neuronal disorder etc.
Similarly, restricted dose of fluoride ( less than 1.5 ppm, as per WHO guideline) in drinking water is required for proper strengthening of teeth and bones in human body. But intake of excess fluoride can affect human health profusely by causing dental and skeletal fluorosis initially, which leads to a crippling malady in the long run. About 60-70 million people of India have been indicated to be at excess (fluoride) F? threat. According to the report by Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation, the groundwater in more than ten thousand five hundred rural habitations distributed in various states of India are found to be contaminated with elevated fluoride concentration. Therefore, there is a need of affordable water purification technology for fluoride and iron removal.
CSIR-CMERI for the very first time has come up with a dual solution (excess F- and Fe3+ mitigation from ground water).The present invention reveals about proper design and subsequent development of an integrated, low-cost, commonly available multi-adsorbent based community level (high flow rate) water purification system for effective and simultaneous removal of fluoride and iron (below WHO permissible limit) in an efficient manner from contaminated water.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION:
The present invention relates to an integrated approach towards design and development of a community level water treatment plant with high flow rate (10,000 litre/hr) to remove fluoride and iron from contaminated water bodies and the process thereof.
Schematic adsorbent packing in FRP vessels Three FRP (Fibre Reinforced Plastic) made vessels of specific dimensions has been set up here in series with each other, which are: i) Chamber-I (oxidation chamber), ii) Chamber-II (Iron removing filter) and iii) Chamber-III (Fluoride removing filter). The oxidation chamber contains manganese oxide enriched ores within the permissible limit, which act as an oxidising agent (screens out metal contaminants like Fe2+). The Iron removal filter contains naturally abundant lowcost adsorbent materials such as gravels and treated sand of specific diameter.
Lastly, the Fluoride removal filter also contains several low cost adsorbent materials viz. activated alumina, ferrite impregnated activated alumina (FIA, a patented product from CMERI) and zinc impregnated activated charcoal (patented product from CMERI) in sequential manner to mitigate the residual fluoride from groundwater. A hypochlorite dosing pump with dosing in proper proportions and micron filter are installed in line with the mentioned vessels for disinfection of targeted contaminated water. Hypochlorite is used in permissible range in place of chlorine gas for safety reasons. To meet the high demand of fluoride free cost effective drinking water focus was to achieve 10,000-12,000 litre/hour flow rate of the purified water. The flow is being continuously monitored by installing a flow meter. The developed plant is successfully able to mitigate iron from an initial concentration of ~9 ppm to less than 0.3 ppm (safe limit of Fe as per WHO guideline) and fluoride from initial ~12 ppm to <1.5 ppm (safe limit of F- as per WHO guideline).
The CSIR-CMERI developed Fluoride and Iron removal system is comprised of three staged purification system. The first FRP make vessel (Chamber-I)is for rapid removal of precipitated iron. The next one(Chamber-II) is one of the most crucial chambers for removal of the left over iron from the contaminated water.In final stage fluoride will be removed from contaminated ground water by 'fluoride removal unit' (Chamber-III), where the adsorbents will fulfil the purpose of fluoride mitigation.
UNIQUENESS OF THE PRESENT PLANT: